Hold by-election when reps hop
By Lim How Pim
Morally wrong for MP elected on one party’s ticket to join another party, says SPDP
KUCHING: A by-election should be held in constituencies where elected representatives have switched parties, said Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) deputy president, Datuk Peter Nyarok Entrie.
Supporting recent suggestions for the introduction of a law prohibiting party hopping, he said it was morally wrong for an MP elected on one party’s ticket to join another party. “I think the best way to stop party-hopping is to make or amend the law, maybe the election law, to provide for a by-election to be held after an MP has deserted his party,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post here yesterday.
The Assistant Minister of Agriculture (Farmers Organisation and Co-operatives) asserted that an MP could contest under the ticket of the party he wanted to hop to and he or she deserved the status again only if they won the by-election.
“At the moment, any MP can hop because there is no law governing it. It is not right and it’s against democratic principle to hop to another party, especially to the opposition,” he said, adding that voters elected them because of their original party. Nyarok, who is also Krian assemblyman, said if any Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs hopped to the opposition they “should be ashamed of themselves”.
“People elect you (as MPs) to serve them and if you hop to the opposition to go against BN, it is just not right,” he said.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak liaison chairman said the proposal for the law was not new as Sabah had passed a similar law before.
“Sabah passed it, but whether it was found unconstitutional, I’m not too sure,” said Dominique Ng.
The Padungan assemblyman stressed that elected members who hopped from one party to another were usually “those who have not much principle”.
In spite of being in favour of the proposal, Ng said he doubted the sincerity of those who proposed the law, which might suit only the needs of certain parties.
In Sabah, he said, the law was aimed at preventing bigger parties from persuading YBs (elected representatives) to cross over to them. He thus hoped that a similar legislation would not be proposed to serve the selfish purpose of certain parties.
Citing Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa as an example, he said the YB who won the state election (in 2006) as an independent candidate had immediately switched camp.
“Look at what happened to Dr Johnical. We don’t want this kind of people. We don’t want people who pretend to be good,” he said.
Having pointed out that the Federal Constitution “guarantees freedom of association”, he said the law might be found to be unconstitutional unless the government was willing to challenge and change the supreme law itself.
Last Saturday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim said he would propose to the cabinet to formulate a law prohibiting party hopping.
He said the act of switching parties after a general election was immoral.
A Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) faction leader, Larry Sng, described party-hopping as unhealthy for both the government and the opposition.
Concurring with Nyarok, he said it was good to have such a federal law considering that party-hopping had taken place in the past.
“I believe that most of the organisations will welcome the proposal. I think it is important to have such a law for the reason that people are promised based on certain manifesto during election time,” he said, adding that elected MPs should keep their promises.
Sng, who is also Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Economic Planning), reckoned that elected representatives should not hop to another party for personal interest, and if it happened it was equivalent to betraying voters’ trust.
While hoping that law could be proposed and adopted to prevent party-hopping, he also suggested that such law be extended to state assemblymen.
“Not only MPs, similar legislation can also be passed to apply to state assemblymen,” added the Pelagus assemblyman.
On Sunday, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan was reported to be in favour of a proposed federal law aimed at making party-hopping illegal for MPs.
“Yes. Why not? It is not good for our country if elected representatives jump here and there immediately after their loyal supporters voted them in,” he said, adding that party-hopping by MPs betrayed the trust of their supporters.
Singapore has such a law to control party-hopping and to maintain stability, said Dr Chan, who is also a Deputy Chief Minister, believing that the law would benefit the government, the opposition and more so their loyal supporters.
PRS president, Dato Sri Dr James Masing, however, has some reservations about anti-hopping laws, saying: “…it would be difficult (to enforce) because one cannot legislate conscience”.
He told reporters on Sunday that no amount of legal argument or law could stop people from party-hopping.
http://www.theborneopost.com/?p=33074 (Mar 25, 2008)
Some quarters said Malaysia need a law to prohibit elected Member of Parliament (MP) to switch parties after being elected. Some quarters have reservations about anti-party hopping.
A by-election should be held in constituencies where elected representatives have switched parties is a good proposal. That maybe can discourage party hopping among traitorous MP who abandoned voters trusts for their personal gain in the new party.Dominique Ng, the Padungan assemblyman under PKR stressed that elected members who hopped from one party to another were usually “those who have not much principle”. Did he forgot that he once was a member of DAP ?
SUPP president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan was reported to be in favour of a proposed federal law aimed at making party-hopping illegal for MPs. Hah ! Maybe he also forgot that his party colleague, Dr Jerip Susil (ADUN Bengoh) was once a party member of STAR.
* Why need an anti-party hopping law
Hold by-election when reps hop
Labels: party hopping